A 12-hour outdoor dance party will be held at Penn’s Landing this Saturday, from noon to midnight. It is hosted by FringeArts, the organization that stages the annual Fringe Festival, and is designed to benefit the entire regional arts sector.
FringeA-Thon is set up like a charity bike ride or a golf tournament — participants register as teams, and drum up sponsors among their friends and family to donate money around the activity. In this case, a 12-hour dance party.
FringeArts President Nick Stuccio originally wanted this event to benefit his organization. But he soon realized that the only way to generate enough excitement for a dance party to work, is to see that that everyone gets a piece of the pie.
“The idea is if we make the world’s best party — this kind of mardi-gras style awesome party — that will be a party everyone will want to be part of,” said Stuccio. “If we can create that this year and next year and years beyond, it will mean resources for everybody.”
Dancers will get to hold to 75 percent of the money their sponsors bring in. Stuccio retains some money to pay the cost of the party, but as the event grows in future years he wants to give more — maybe all — back to the participants.
Almost 100 teams have signed up so far, ranging individual artists to corporate teams. Drivers for United Parcel Service (UPS), for example, will be dancing in their brown uniforms.
One of the teams will be parents of students at Philadelphia’s High School of Creative And Performing Arts – or CAPA – raising money for next year’s high school musical.
Boni Wolf, a parent, says it’s not just about the money.
“Parent participation has been very low for the last couple years,” she said. “We’re hoping this will encourage more parents will come out and support our cause and get more involved in fundraising for our school.”
The FringeA-Thon is not a contest — it’s not a dance marathon where the last person standing wins. However, there will be dance battles among some teams, and prizes.